Responsible blogging is a topic that has been on my mind a lot lately, namely due to the content of my blog and how it might affect others. When dealing with topics like eating disorders, mental health issues, self-harm, and similar topics there is a fine line between responsible blogging and irresponsible blogging. Where I am struggling the most with responsible blogging is in the area of relaying personal experiences with these very topics while I struggle to recover from them myself. I have an eating disorder, so I talk about my eating disorder and how it affects my life but what’s difficult is just how much information should I share?
A good example of responsible blogging can be found in the blog post, Eating Out With Ana, where when referring to my weight and the scale trying to decide if I weighed XXX.0 or XXX.5 pounds, I didn’t reveal any actual number. Why? Not because I’m unwilling to reveal how much or how little I weigh, but rather it could potentially be triggering to someone else. I also started the blog post out with a warning stating the post might be triggering to someone with an eating disorder. The problem I have with this whole warning concept is it flags a particular blog post as potentially containing information someone could take and use in a negative fashion. For example, later in this very same post I mention, “another common Ana trait of…” which while it is may be a common trait, I have just given someone who doesn’t know this particular trait/trick the information to implement it into their eating disorder. At the same time however, someone who has someone in his or her life who has an eating disorder now has an idea of something to watch out for. See, it’s a double-edged sword and one I’m struggling with a lot. The same piece of information can be good in one persons hands while destructive in another’s.
My blog is about recovery from my mental health issues and is not pro-ana, pro-mia, pro-eating disorder, or pro anything really. If anything my blog is pro-recovery, pro-healing, pro-growing, pro-getting through this; basically pro-positives that come out of trying to recover from ana, mia, ED, self-harm, or whatever have you. The problem is during the recovery process I need to talk about the issues that are affecting my life and these issues typically are very ugly in nature, raw, emotional, and damaging; but just how much do I share of my story? Am I responsible for what other’s do with what I put out there? Even if the information can be found on hundreds of other sites?
This is a topic I’m sure I’m going to struggle with no matter how I decide to address it. While I worry about handing someone a piece of information they can turn around and use to hurt themselves further, I have already received numerous messages from people thanking me for writing about the topics I have so far. Again, it’s that doubled edged sword, one which I hope I use as responsibly as I can.
Peace, love, and contentment,